When I think about collaborating I think about two very different experiences. I’ve worked as a collaborator so many times, but I think of it as a contrast.
Let me start with the first ‘collaboration’: a Christian school of 900 students where each of the teachers says they are working towards a common vision. The potential is remarkable: 70 staff members, each with their own gifts and talents, with 3 of each grade. The reality? Teachers working in solo, with the exception of weekly meetings where staff stay silent.
The second example of collaboration was a smaller group of teachers who decided we were fed up with the way that math was being taught. We worked together for months, using eachothers ideas to build a math continuum for Grades 1-5. We disagreed, we struggled with ideas, and we put together a plan.
These two examples bring me back to the article that was read for this module about the three aspects to collaboration. I believe that collaboration needs to be based on an individual desire to accomplish whatever the end goal is going to be. I need to feel passionate about what I am working towards in order for real collaboration to take place. Collaboration needs to be based on a desire to work together, valuing one anothers ideas and strengths. The article also spoke of hierarchy that needs to be in place: there needs to be time and incentive given to work together for a common purpose.
I’m looking forward to learning more about collaboration in this course, as well as ACTUALLY collaborating with several of you!
POST: Background Interests
My name is Janine, and I grew up in Chilliwack, British Columbia. After graduating high school, I went to University of the Fraser Valley where I obtained my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Geography. After this I completed the Teacher Education Program. After becoming a certified teacher I did some overseas volunteering and teaching in Haiti, and Malawi. After teaching Grade 5 for 3 years in BC (which I absolutely loved), I moved to Ontario a year ago (both for a professional challenge, as well as to be closer to my fiancé). I’ve taught Grade 8 for the past year at a large Christian School: Challenging because of the group of students I had, as well as the very different culture of the school. This coming school year I hope to start a new position as Curriculum Coordinator for the school. This will be another challenge, but one that I can’t wait to start.
My professional interests all revolve around how best to lay out curriculum for a diverse community so that it not only aligns with what the government prescribes, as well as the Christian values of the school. Personally I enjoy anything active and outdoors. Together with my fiancé (who I hope to marry August 11!), we love to swim, go sailing on Lake Ontario, hike (when visiting family in BC), bike, and run. I’m an avid reader, and whenever I have time I love to read current events books, historical thrillers, and any book about topics I know nothing about.
I’m currently a member of the BC Teacher Federation, as well as the Ontario College of Teachers. This coming year I’m looking forward to getting to know more Christian teachers who also are dealing with the struggle of balancing curriculum with our Christian values.
I’m looking forward to learning together with each of you!